Record-Breaking $1 Million Raised During 2011 BMO Boolathon in Support of Kids Help Phone

50 communities across Canada came out in their wildest costumes in support of kids

TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2011 /CNW/ - Who knew that superheroes and vampires were such fang-tastic fundraisers? Or that princesses could bool such a great game? 2011 marked another spook-tacular year for the annual BMO Boolathon, a Halloween-themed bowling fundraiser that took place in more than 50 communities across Canada over the past two weekends. Together, they raised $1 million, ensuring that kids can continue reaching out day or night to compassionate professional counsellors who will listen and instil hope, no matter the issue or the question.

More than 3,000 participants - BMO employees, friends and families, and community members dedicated to the well-being of children - helped reach this amount, a record for the fundraising event.

"I'm excited to see the BMO Boolathon grow into a million-dollar event in such a short period of time," says Sharon Wood, President and CEO, Kids Help Phone. "It has been overwhelming to experience the outpouring of generosity and enthusiasm for the cause, especially at such a critical time for Kids Help Phone.

"Kids and teens' experiences of bullying, suicide, and homophobia have dominated news stories throughout 2011, and our call volumes have increased by 20 per cent over last year. The dedication and support of everyone who participated, fundraised, or pledged for this year's Boolathon has helped make sure that counsellors can provide support, no matter the time of day or night, to the kids who reach out for help. With the growing demand for our service, the contribution made by each person involved in this event is very much appreciated."

"This year's Boolathon, like in past years, was a tremendous success, with over 50 communities across Canada participating in this spectacular and significant event," said Richard Rudderham, Executive Vice-President and Head of Human Resources, BMO Financial Group. "We are proud of the BMO employees and community members who organized their local events and raised pledges so that children in their communities across Canada continue to have access to Kids Help Phone's counselling services. It truly is a community effort, and we are thrilled that so many people continue to support such an important cause."

About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is Canada's only bilingual phone and on-line counselling service for youth. It's free, anonymous and confidential.  Professional counsellors are available any time of the day or night, 365 days a year, to help young people deal with concerns large or small.  As a community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone relies on individual and corporate donations to fund these vital services.

About BMO
As a Founding Sponsor, BMO Financial Group has expressed unwavering commitment to Kids Help Phone since its inception in 1989. BMO is proud to be the title sponsor of the BMO Boolathon in support of Kids Help Phone, a fun and highly successful fundraising event created by a group of BMO employees in 1991. In 2010, the event was hosted in close to 50 sites across the country, raising $1 million to help fund essential phone and online counselling services for children throughout Canada. BMO also supports a number of local Kids Help Phone events.

SOURCE: Kids Help Phone

For further information:

Media Contacts: 

BMO Financial Group: 
Beja Rodeck, Toronto, beja.rodeck@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996
Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal, sarah.bensadoun@bmo.com, (514) 877-8224
Laurie Grant, Vancouver, laurie.grant@bmo.com, (604) 665-7596

Kids Help Phone:
Toronto, (416) 581-8955
Deborah Jussome, Montreal, deborah.jussome@jeunessejecoute.ca, (514) 273-7007 ext 8217


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